~EMOTIONS – THE SEQUEL~
A/N: Nine out of ten people voted in favour of a sequel for "Emotions". So I wrote one. Hope you like it! The song "Things Will Never Be The Same Again" belongs to Melanie C. Thanks for reading, reviewing and voting! ^_^
Twenty-year-old Dale pushed his hands in his pockets. It was a gloomy day, grey and wet. Dale was a freshman, and his pale face was a white speck poking out from underneath the hood of his black, water-repellent jacket. His hands were additional white specks when they moved out of his pockets, one fumbling with the zipper of the jacket, the other fiddling with the strap of a new backpack. Dale's sharp, grey eyes swept the main building of the university. English and French were his two main subjects. He hoped he would not be disillusioned. An unbidden thought came to his mind. Was Daniel also going to study over here? They hadn't talked to each other for the rest of that miserable, final high school semester since…that incident. The summer-break had been long, three and a half months, but it had done nothing to wipe away the pain he still felt after Daniel had rejected him. Three days after Dale had told Daniel that he loved him, Daniel had come up to Dale, heaved a great sigh, squared his shoulders and said in a flat voice:
"I'm sorry. The answer is no."
Dale's heart had cracked.
"And…I think it's better if we…don't contact each other anymore…we ought to keep a distance." The voice had still been dreadfully flat.
Dale's heart had broken in two.
He had turned his back on Daniel, and that had been it. Hopes dashed, a close friendship broken and hopelessness the inevitable consequence for him. A parting in silent bitterness and sadness.
Dale managed to squeeze himself into the huge room where all the first-semester-students had gathered to listen to the speech of the rector. After forty-five minutes, Dale was disgorged from the hall with his future fellow-students. He glanced at his watch. Seventy-five minutes more until his first lecture in…what was it called?
"English Phonetics," he murmured, peering at his neat timetable.
He killed the time sitting in a cosy café and reading a book which had an interesting title but, very unfortunately, consisted of boring contents. When it was time for him to go, he left it on the table and nipped out of the café before anyone could call him back and tell him that he'd forgotten his book. Carefully avoiding a number of rather muddy-looking puddles, Dale walked to the English Institute, found the lecture-hall and was relieved to see that it was already filling up. He sat down next to a girl with long, brown hair reaching till her waist. She was talking to an auburn-haired girl sitting on her other side when he dropped his backpack with a thump on the table and made her look in his direction. She smiled at him rather nervously, and he smiled back. Good; so he was not the only one who was nervous as hell. Another hasty glance at his watch informed him that the lecture would start in three minutes. Outside, there were running footsteps, and six panting students burst into the hall, scattering to find places. Dale felt the blood drain out of his face; for, behind them, another student, equally out of breath, entered the room.
"Daniel," he muttered. Daniel had evidently noticed him: for a moment, he stood stock-still on a stair, then, as if forcing himself to move, he half stumbled to a row right behind.
Daniel's mouth was like sandpaper, dry and itchy. That had been Dale, sitting right in front! He swallowed. He had just thought that bad weather was the worst thing one could experience on one's very first day of university. Seeing Dale again was…cataclysmic! There was no more time to dwell on the past: the lecturer had arrived.
During the compulsory first-semester-students' meeting after the lecture, Daniel was careful to avoid Dale, who was being equally wary of keeping a safe distance between the two of them. However, when they had to sign up for one of three literature-courses (they were all identical, but they were held on different days by different instructors), he got a very bad start.
"Hello, Daniel. It's a surprise to see you here." He found himself staring into the steely grey eyes of Dale. The same voice, but cold as ice.
"Er…Hi, Dale. Uh...nice to see you again. So…er…you're also studying English?" He said, attempting to relieve the tension between them.
"Evidently," Dale replied dryly.
"Uh…here's the pen," Daniel said, handing Dale said item before "running away".
It was a bad start for both Daniel and Dale. To make things worse, they ended up in the same literature course, and both of them raved silently at their treacherous timetables. The most disagreeable part was still to come.
Daniel and Dale had to work on an assignment together; their instructor had split them up into pairs, and had asked them to analyse a critical text and write an essay on it in one week.
Miserably, Daniel slouched up to Dale at the end of the lesson.
"Er, ah, uh…So…right…er…we are to write this essay…"
"Well…when have you got time? I guess we'll have to meet at least twice," Daniel continued bravely. The two young men consulted their agendas and organised two meetings.
"If you want to contact me…well, you know my e-mail-address and mobile number by heart, don't you?" Dale said.
"Yes. And you know mine by heart, too, don't you?"
Daniel chewed at his lip.
"You're still mad at me, aren't you, Dale?"
"The way you rejected me sucked, you know," Dale said. He moved out of the room, and stopped, looking at Daniel. Daniel followed him to an empty lecture-hall.
"So. Now we can talk things over. If you want to," Dale said.
Daniel nodded. Dale closed the door behind them.
"Can't you accept a no?" Daniel asked quietly.
"Not if it is a rude no."
"I was not rude. Just…blunt," Daniel defended himself.
"Not very sweet, but short. And then…you just threw away our friendship."
"It was impossible to continue being friends! It would have made both of us miserable!"
"Were you afraid that I'd use our friendship as an excuse to cling to you?" Dale said.
Daniel hung his head.
Then, gazing into Dale's grey eyes with his green ones:
"Do you still…have…any feelings…you know…for me?"
"Whether I still love you?"
Two girls clip-clopped past the room, (appropriately) singing Melanie C's "Things Will Never Be The Same Again" in shrill voices.
Dale smiled. It was a sad smile.
"I don't really know. Sometimes, I think I still love you, and other times, I just want to forget you."
Dale's typical frankness never failed to impress Daniel.
He moistened his lips.
"I wasn't ready for a relationship back then. I was ready for a coming-out…but not for more, you see…It all happened too fast. And you, you were not just any admirer. You were my best friend. The one closest to me. I wasn't ready to get closer," he said.
Dale was silent.
"But now it's too late, isn't it? I'd be ready now…to…er…date you…and stuff…But you haven't forgiven me," Daniel said in an unhappy voice. "I've often thought of you," he added sincerely.
Dale still didn't say anything.
"I suppose we've got to go our separate ways. The wrong thing came at the wrong time for us," Daniel stated soberly.
"What about this time?" Dale inquired softly, leaning against the wall, half closing his eyes. Daniel thought that Dale looked very seductive.
"This time?" Daniel repeated.
"Are you ready this time?"
Daniel understood. He blushed.
"Mmh," Dale said, eyeing Daniel's cheeks appreciatively.
"Yes," Daniel said, and he could not keep a note of eagerness out of his voice.
Dale nodded thoughtfully.
"There's a nice café five minutes away from here. Very cosy," he said casually.
Later, when the two of them sat down in said café, Dale saw that someone had taken the book he had abandoned.